Hate-Filled Christmas Card Targeting Lesbian Family Sparks Support, Trevor Project Fundraiser

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Sunday January 2, 2022

A lesbian couple and their two children received venomous season's greetings instead of holiday cheer when an anonymous "unequal neighbor" fired off a hate-filled broadside in the form of a not-so-jolly Christmas card, MassLive reported.

Melissa and Kelly Sheehan, residents of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, fly the Pride and transgender flags — at the request of their 14-year-old son, MassLive noted — and display their commitment to equality with a yard sign. They also put out a sign during last year's election calling for "any functioning adult" for president.

But their messages of inclusiveness seemingly spurred the nameless neighbor to compose a vitriolic message on a holiday card that shows a seemingly drunken Santa Claus doing a face plant in the snow.

"Sheehan's — I drive by regularly and wanted to drop you a note about your signs and flags," the note started off. "I love your = and pride flag but if you are = why do you have to put it in everyones face? Seems you want to be special..."

The anonymous author of the missive then pivoted to an attack on the family's support for President Biden.

"Any functioning adult???" the note demanded, referencing the couple's sign for the 2020 election, before leveling blame at the president for a slew of topics, including economic matters that do not lie within the control of the executive branch.

The missive then claimed "low favorability rating for Joe the rapist even with a media that kisses his you fill in the blank.

"I don't understand you people you would believe CNN, MSNBC, Rachel Maddow if they told you the sky was red," the message continued, before adding: "Just remember... you wanted this".

The letter's author signed off as "your unequal neighbor".

Kelly passed along the anonymous notes' glad tidings via Wilbraham Open Forum, a closed group on Facebook, MassLive detailed.

"I wanted to share the beautiful Xmas card we received from an anonymous person in town," she posted, including a laughing emoji with her text. "What I find crazy though, is this person didn't sign the card when so much love went into it. You would think they want to take credit."

A wave of "probably 500 messages" followed, Kelly said, with only two of them being "hateful comments" in a sea of support.

"I mean, that says a lot about our community for the good," Kelly marveled.

But that's not all: Neighbors willing to put their names to their views also decided to put good works into the mix. "Sheehan's neighbor and close family friend, Renee Considine reached out and asked if she could post the incident to raise money for the Trevor Project," MassLive relayed.

Considine described the situation at the fundraising page, writing, "What the author must not have known is that Melissa and Kelly are often the first people everyone calls when they need something.... They give love and support to our community and surrounding areas.

"The other thing the author clearly doesn't know is that our community, the LGBTQ community and its allies, take every opportunity to hate into love."

Contributions flooded in, quickly meeting and then outstripping the fundraiser's goal of $500 three times over.

"That sends a message that we don't tolerate hate," Considine told MassLive. "Every cent that is raised and goes to the Trevor Project just is a message of love and support."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.